Historical roots of crime in international comparison

Project period/status


Project staff

Dr. Jan-Philip Steinmann (Project Manager)

Antonia Hock (Research Assistant)

Project description

The focus is on the question of whether country-specific historical roots influence current crime-related perceptions and experiences in Europe. Thereby, the topic of migration and crime will be considered in particular. At the core is the assumption that a country’s past geopolitical threat and the historical intertwining of immigration and criminal law in a country (also known as “crimmigration”) are hitherto underestimated aspects that have long-term consequences. Such a historically informed and internationally comparative perspective can serve to better understand contemporary fears of migrant criminality on the part of natives as well as today’s crime victimization experiences of immigrants. The explanation of crime-related perceptions and experiences has so far been based primarily on contemporary explanatory factors that unfold their effect in the respective national container. Adopting a (comparative) macro-historical perspective can reveal country-specific causes of such perceptions and experiences that date back to the past.